You have to provide cooling air to the AC condenser. The cooling air for the condenser enters via the louvers on the side of the AC and exits out the back. The ducts for this should be as large as you can manage — any restriction will reduce the efficiency of the AC unit — it will draw more power and produce less cooling with restricted flow.
There are some alternate ways of using one of these window AC units in a van on this page:
The ones that don’t restrict the flow to the condenser are the best for performance.
I did a test on how a window AC drops in performance as the cooling air for the condenser is restricted: https://www.buildagreenrv.com/window-air-conditioner-to-cool-an-rv/
not sure if you’ll get my message- I want to do this in my motorhome. the roof unit just can’t cut it. Am I right to think that the unit needs an intake hose on one side and an exhaust hose on the other side if in a sealed box? how much space around the unit should I allow? Thank you.
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